IRIS – Institute for Research and Development on Inclusion and Society
Adjunct Professor, Disability Studies
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Annette Schaffer Eskind Chair
Director, Vanderbilt Kennedy Center
Professor, Psychology and Human Development, Psychiatry, and Pediatrics
Nashville, Tennessee, USA
Dr. Dykens received a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of Kansas. She completed a predoctoral internship and a postdoctoral fellowship at Yale University’s School of Medicine, Child Study Center. She served on the junior faculty at the Yale Child Study Center for seven years. In 1995, she joined the faculty of University of California Los Angeles where she was Associate Professor and then Professor-in-Residence at the Neuropsychiatric Institute, and Associate Director for Research and Training at UCLA’s Tarjan Center for Excellence on Developmental Disabilities. She directed the UCLA Lili Claire Family Resource Center and was Co-Director of out-patient clinics for persons with both intellectual disabilities and mental health concerns. She joined the Vanderbilt University faculty in 2003.
Dr. Dykens’s research examines psychopathology and areas of strength in persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities, especially those with genetic syndromes. Her studies focus on the development and correlates of psychopathology and behavioral problems in Prader-Willi syndrome, Williams syndrome, and Down syndrome. These include marked obsessive-compulsive behaviors in Prader-Willi syndrome, heightened anxiety in Williams syndrome, and increased withdrawal and depression in Down syndrome. Dykens also examines profiles of neurocognitive and adaptive strengths and weaknesses in these disorders, and how these unusual profiles refine treatment and shed light on typical development. A related area of research is stress, coping, and positive outcomes in families of persons with developmental disabilities.
Barb has over 20 years of experience in the Ontario Public Service, and has held a variety of jobs related to training and employment, including stints at Cabinet Office as Senior Policy Advisor for Education and Training, as Director of the Apprenticeship Reform Project, and held several executive positions at the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities (now called Advanced Education and Skills Development). She’s most proud of her stint as the Director of Program Integration with the Transition Management Office, where she played a key role in the successful transfer of over 500 staff and $525M of federal training and employment programs to Ontario.
Barb has a degree in Fine Arts from York University, is married to Alison, and has two children, Annie and Alec, with whom she never gets to spend enough time.
Mr. Durling has additional training in administration, human resources, data management, and individual and other planning and assessment techniques, non-aversive and behavioral approaches and supports and crisis intervention.
He is active provincially in the DS sector including participation on the Provincial Network, OADD, Great Lakes Society, and with provincial committees including the Provincial HR Committee, Quality Assurance Measures, Performance Measurement Framework, and the Transformation Strategy Steering Committee.
In 2004, William attended law school at the University of Toronto, where he was also worked with the Journal of Law and Equality, becoming Editor in Chief in 2006. Prior to attending law school, William taught courses at the University of Toronto and McMaster University on World Religions, Indian Buddhism, and Sanskrit Literature while attending graduate programs in the academic study of religion at McMaster University, specializing in medieval Sanskrit literature.